Bengali wedding: To the root of Bengali culture
The shahnai of Bismillah khan is an invariable part of life of bengalis. We have grown listening to the same in different marriage parties in our childhood. A person, who attended even one Bengali marriage, is bound to listen to the famous tune and if you are one of them, it might be playing in back of your mind now.
A wedding invitation in our childhood meant a four days holiday from our school, a lot of shopping and of course a happy mood of the family going together out for few days.
And on arrival to the house of our relatives, we hardly got to be introduced to the bride or groom because they were highly busy with the arrangements and in the running around and being called every now and then. Rather all the senior persons with big smiles on their face were there to receive us, with a hug for our parents and very annoying ritual for us of shaking our chins with two of their fingers. Then the ritual of ‘pranams’, followed by ‘luchi’ ‘sandesh’ ‘rosogolla’ and what not. That was a golden time for bengalis and we all cherish the memories.
Rituals like ‘Sat pak’, ‘Sindur daan’, ‘Gaye holud’ ‘Asirbaad’ ‘kanya daan’ is and always will be a center of attraction in every Bengali marriage.
Even in times like this of nuclear families, we bengalis manage to be present in all the rituals and try to re-live our childhood and cherish the good old memories with our families and friends. And the families takes at most care to arrange these ceremonies maintaining every detail.
But at present, with a few members to stand by the family having a marriage, making a flawless arrangement for a Bengali marriage is not at all a piece of cake. Because it even takes a year to prepare for it. Starting with the venue, travel arrangements, choice of cards, ‘ashirbadi’, invitations, and dresses for bride, groom, families, ‘totto’ and what not.
What I feel personally is, for arranging a Bengali wedding, or wedding of any region, the organizers must know the root culture, the essence of every rituals and the warmth of every relations to bring out the best in a wedding ceremony.
Thankfully, some of the Bengali wedding planners in Kolkata have come up with their expertise in Bengali weddings. They takes away all the hazards from a wedding and leaves us with smiles, laughter, gossips, hugs, story time for kids by the old ones, and us, with enough time to enjoy every details and to cherish the warmth of our good old relations.